Sunday, 21 January 2018

Book Review: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck (A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life) by Mark Manson

Who you are is defined by what you’re willing to struggle for.

In this self-help guide, a blogger shows us that the key to being happier is to stop trying to be "positive" all the time and instead to become better at handling adversity.

You know those self-help guide books that sell you the idea that lots of positive ideas and optimism thinking are the key to a happy, rich life? If you love those, this book is definitely not for you. "Fuck positivity," Mark Manson says. "Let's be honest; sometimes things are fucked up and we have to live with it." For the past few years, Manson - via his popular blog - has been working on correcting our delusional expectations for ourselves and for the world.  Manson doesn’t sugarcoat or equivocate. Instead, he tells it like it is: a dose of raw, refreshing, honest truth that is sorely lacking today.  He now brings his hard-fought wisdom with The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, his antidote to the coddling, let’s-all-feel-good mindset that has infected modern society and spoiled a generation, rewarding them with gold medals just for showing up.

Manson makes the argument, backed by both academic research and jokes, that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade, but on learning to better stomach lemons. As he writes, "Not everybody can be extraordinary - there are winners and losers in society, and some of it is not fair or your fault." Human beings are flawed and limited. Manson adivses us to get to know our limitations and accept them. This, he says, is the real source of empowerment. Once one embraces their fears, faults and uncertainties - once one stops running from and avoiding, and starts confronting painful truths - one can begin to find the courage and confidence one desperately seeks.

"In life, we have a limited amount of fucks to give. So you must choose your fucks wisely." You need to figure out which ones really matter. While money is nice, caring about what you do with your life is better, because true wealth is about experience. This wasn't a breakthrough revelation to me. I have been doing this for quite a while now since material things solely do anything for me and I always ask for experiences/memories for my birthday. Manson brings a much-needed grab-you-by-shoulders moment of real talk, filled with entertaining stories and profane, ruthless humor. I'm not much into self-help books but they say The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is a refreshing slap in the face for all of us so that we can start to lead more contented, ground lives. For me, it wasn't only a slap in the face. It was an ice cold shower after running a marathon in 40ºC weather (which should be illegal in the first place).

So why did I enjoy this book? First of all, let me tell you, it's not a book designed to read in one sitting. I tried that at first since I had a deadline but the best way to read this is definitely in between some fiction or any other gender - unless, of course, self-help books are your favourite book gender. I feel like a chapter a day is a better way to read this because you have to let it sink in and you will miss a lot of good stuff if you just skim through it. I liked Mark's writing. It's easy to read, fun and very entertaining.

This book has good advice for those who, like myself, tend to overthink. It will make you go back to all those situations and think how you could have handled them differently. “The key to a good life is not giving a fuck about more; it’s giving a fuck about less, giving a fuck about only what is true and immediate and important.” and “If you want to change how you see your problems, you have to change what you value and/or how you measure failure/success.”

You can get The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: (A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life) by Mark Manson on Book Depository with free shipping and let me know if it made you see life differently!

Maturity is what happens when one learns to only give a fuck about what’s truly fuckworthy. 

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